Butler Gets Ready for Title IX Investigation

According to yesterday’s edition of its student newspaper, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has initiated a Title IX review at Butler University.

From the Butler Collegian:

Butler University is facing pressure and a potential investigation from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

The OCR is “conducting a Title IX compliance review at Butler University,” said Jim Bradshaw, a member of the Department of Education’s press office.

Title IX is a federal law that requires schools at all levels across the country to offer girls and women equal access to athletics.

“[The review will] determine whether the university discriminates against female students by denying them an equal opportunity to participate in intercollegiate athletics,” Bradshaw said.

I think there’s little doubt here that OCR will find the school in violation of the law. A quick look at the latest numbers from EADA cutting tool reveals that the school’s student body favors females by a ratio of 60/40, while the gender balance in the athletic department favors males by a ratio of roughly 63/37. With numbers like that, there’s little doubt the proportionality police are going to get their pound of flesh out of the school.

The next question becomes, how will Butler respond to the almost complete certainty that it will be found in violation of the law? From our perspective, we’re hoping the school chooses to add some women’s sports. Again, a quick look at the EADA data suggests that the school would have a hard time getting to proportionality without more or less completely gutting the men’s athletic program.

So what’s the bottom line? In the past, schools looking to add significant numbers of female athletes quickly have helped boost the fortunes of women’s crew—an NCAA sport where men don’t compete. As it turns out, Butler already has a co-ed rowing club, something that could certainly help things along.

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